‘Africa must prioritise water, sanitation issues’
Peter Matambanadzo Senior Reporter
Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change and there is need for Government to put water and sanitation on top of their development agendas, a representative of the Africa Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), Ms Laila Oualkacha, has said.
In her opening remarks at the ongoing sixth Water, Climate Development Programme (WACDEP), which started in Harare on Monday, Ms Oualkacha said: “Climate change poses serious threats to sustained economic growth, the quality of life and political stability. Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change and climate vulnerability. The situation is aggravated by various multiple aspects compounded by low adaptive capacity.”
Ms Oualkacha said although the African Heads of State and Government have shown commitment by adopting a response to climate change through the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration in July 2008, more needed to be done.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere called for better water resources management on the continent.
“I call upon better management of water resources where policies are informed by evidence-based information, where practice is based on shared best practices and where there is a better interface between policies, practices and reception,” Cde Kasukuwere said.
He noted that while Government played a key role in securing water for competing demands, request for a water secure world was a joint responsibility.
This can only be achieved through water co-operation at national, regional, continental and global level, but through partnerships with the multitudes of stakeholders ranging from citizens to policy makers and the private sector, he said.
Cde Kasukuwere said Government and local partner, Global Water Partnership, had put in place adaptation measures to improve resilience to the increasing threat of climate change and vulnerability to water resources.
The four-day technical coordination workshop, being sponsored by the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa, is being held under the theme “Support to integration of water security and climate resilience into development planning and decision making processes”.
Delegates attending the workshop are drawn from Sadc and East and Central African countries.